How to beat the January blues and start the term off right
Getting back into the swing of university after winter break can be difficult, especially if your time off was spent partaking in relaxing holiday activities. The transition back to an academically-inclined schedule may cause some mental whiplash, but organization and forethought can help you ease back into school. To make sure you start your spring semester on the right foot, here are some tips for success.
Get into a school mindset ASAP
Waiting until work is piling up to start focusing on school can lead to major stress. Combat this by taking a few days to look over the course materials you need, the BrightSpace pages that are open, and what your first couple weeks will include on the academic front. For those of us who are more social media-inclined, cutting down non-academic screen time and refraining from multitasking with social media can also help with focus.
Organize your due date
Once classes have started and you have access to your syllabi, compile all of your due dates in one place. Forgetting to hand in an assignment is one of the worst feelings. Using a planner, calendar, or spreadsheet to help outline your semester will help to keep you aware of your upcoming work. Some other things you can plan for at the start of the semester are other recurring events, such as work shifts, grocery shopping, meetings, or any other weekly tasks.
Find your ideal study spot
Whether it’s at home, on campus, or in a café, finding the place that you work most effectively in makes all the difference. If you’re enrolled in online or hybrid courses, a distraction-free area to work is essential. Try out new spots at the start of the semester, and you may find a hidden gem that’s perfect for your study needs. Having a dedicated, clean desk in your home is another way to ensure productivity away from campus.
Prioritize well-being early in the term
While you have more time (and sanity) at the beginning of the semester, make healthy habits a routine. Get enough sleep, eat nourishing meals, and if you can, make extra food to freeze — your future stressed self will thank you. Like New Year’s resolutions, optimizing all your daily habits probably won’t stick. However, establishing a healthy and sustainable routine that works for you is important in the long run.
Connect with others
Whether you’re looking for a study buddy or the motivation to attend class, knowing people in university is a big help. Early in the term, reach out to friends and past classmates to see if you share courses with anyone you already know. If not, take a leap in class and try to get to know someone new. Having a support system in university is highly beneficial for your wellbeing, but it does require putting yourself out there. And who knows? The person you sit next to on the first day could become a life-long friend.
Based on previous experience, it’s very easy to coast through the start of the second semester. However, organizing yourself before school gets busy is a recipe for continued success throughout the term and overall better state of mind.